Feb 8, 2013 5:30pm PST
from defense secretary leon panetta, and the joint chiefs chairman, general martin dempsey. arizona republican john mccain asked about a report that president obama rejected a proposal to arm syrian rebels last summer. >> did you support the recommendation by secretary of state... then secretary of state clinton and then head of c.i.a. general petraeus that we provide weapons to the resistance in syria? did you support that? >> we did. >you did support that. >> we d. >> suarez: so far, the president's judgment has been that things won't get better with american arms. instead, he's warned the weapons might fall into the hands of extremist elements, a concern reiterated today by the new secretary of state, who was asked about the deliberations last year. >> i don't know what the discussions were in the white house and i'm not going backwards. the new administration, we're going forward from this point. there are serious questions about al nusra and a.q.i.-- al qaeda in iraq-- and other violent groups on ground. >> suarez: those groups are among the most effective fighters against the
Feb 7, 2013 10:00pm PST
. defense secretary leon panetta and general martin dempsey chair of the joint chiefs said they made that recommendation to president obama. panetta told a senate hearing that, in the end, the president decided against sending in arms. instead, the u.s. has provided only humanitarian aid to the rebels. secretary panetta also defended the military's response to the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. the assault killed ambassador chris stevens and three other americans. panetta testified there'd been no specific warning of an imminent attack, so u.s. forces were too far away to respond. >> the united states military, as i've said, is not and frankly should not be a 911 service capable of arriving on the scene within minutes to every possible contingency around the world. the u.s. military has neither the resources nor the responsibility to have a firehouse next to every u.s. facility in the world. >> sreenivasan: republican senator john mccain of arizona argued the military could have deployed in time, if it had heeded warnings coming from the consulate and ambassador stevens.